ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The history of over-the-road transportation is rolling into Allentown, Pa. in April, offering a hands-on educational experience inside a unique museum.
America On Wheels will host a grand opening on April 12 in the restored Lehigh Landing section of Allentown. The event will feature a collection of American muscle cars, a 1918 Mack model fire engine and an exhibit on fuel-cell technology.
America On Wheels includes all modes of road transport from bicycles and motorcycles to family and race cars, Class 8 heavy-duty trucks and even the Segway Personal Transporter.
Exhibits aim to depict the past, present and future of transportation.
“We’ve created an educational experience for youth to realize the changes that were brought about in the country over the past 100 years by cars and trucks,” said Jack Curcio, president of the museum’s board and former CEO of Mack Trucks. “A lot of museums are a bunch of old dinosaurs sitting in a row. This is a very interactive building. We have a lot of classic vehicles but they are included in a meaningful story. There are several virtual reality experiences. The kids will drive a Mack Granite truck over the road and into a construction site. They can have a similar experience in a racing car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
The $17 million, 48,000 sq.-ft. museum is a combination of old and new. Exhibits are housed in a brand new steel-and-glass addition, while administrative offices occupy part of the original building.
The building will also be home to the Mack Trucks Historical Museum, which is contributing seven vehicles, 100,000 photos and technical data on every vehicle Mack has made in more than 100 years.
“While Mack Trucks is a part of the museum, the exhibits include a wide range of other vendors and modes of transportation,” said board member Paul Ritter. Other partners include Air Products & Chemicals, transmission manufacturer Allison, the American Truck Foundation and the Society of Automotive Engineers International.
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